Thursday, 26 April 2012

New Art Supplies :)

Whenever I have a new craft project in mind, I always think, "Oh man, I wish they had Target, Michaels or Jo-Ann store here in England." I really miss being able to one stop shop for sewing supplies, fabrics, paper, yarn, etc. I generally stock up on crafty stuff when I go back but today I was lucky enough to find some supplies for a few future projects.

Cardboard letters! I know, every Michaels store carries these but not here! I found these at my local Tiger store for £2 each. I plan to decoupage them somehow and make something similar to these map monograms. I also picked up a pack of decorative paper for card making. 40 sheets of paper for £2? That's a score in my book.

Acrylic paints and mini canvases for some DIY artwork from Rhymans. I don't think I've ever painted on canvas so this should be interesting. I want some new artwork for my desk space and hope to create something similar to this chevron wall art.

Oh, and finally a work in progress. It's a quilt to go with the pillow that I made here.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Alice in Wonderland Color Board Book

I came across this gorgeous Alice in Wonderland board book at my favorite local bookstore. I picked it up and immediately fell in love with all the gorgeous colors and illustrations. Funny, I'm not sure who is going to enjoy the book more...little miss or myself?

The book is authored by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Alison Oliver, and is published by Gibbs Smith.  They also publish similar board books for Jane Eyre, Pride & Prejudice and Romeo & Juliet

I'm looking forward to adding all of them to our bookshelf very soon!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Easy Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

If you grew up in the US like I did, chances are you made Nestle Toll House cookies by the dozen. And if you can't bake (like me) you used their already prepared cookie dough straight from the supermarket. So you can imagine my delight when I came across this package of ready bake Belgian chocolate chip cookie dough at my local Sainbury's. 

The verdict? Not too shabby for their £1 price point. I baked them a little bit longer than the package directions (again, I can't bake!) so they weren't as moist as the original Toll House version. However, I think they're a definite "must have" in your fridge/freezer for when you need a quick cookie fix!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Quilted Sherbet Pips Pillow

I've been a little unmotivated to sew lately. Since December, I've been making a lot of small gifts for family and friends (bags, crayon rolls, blankets, etc) and realized that I haven't made a single thing for little miss. Although I love making things for other people, I decided to go back to my sewing roots and do a little quilting! And for those of you who know me...YES, I am indeed a closet quilter.

So I looked through my fabric stash and found this quilted pillow kit that I picked up during last year's Knitting and Stitching Show. The pillow is made from 3 different fat quarters and took me about 2 hours to make. I decided to do free hand straight line quilting on the sides and free motion in the center panel. I haven't free motion quilted in a while so this project was a great warm up.

Sherbet Pips Pillow:

You can see that my free motion still needs some work. I need to get those stitches smooth and even!

I also have a matching charm squares pack so I feel a full fledged quilt in the works :)

Monday, 9 April 2012

Vintage Fisher Price Farm House Set

We were lucky enough to have been given one when little miss was first born. Since it's a rainy Easter bank holiday here in the UK, I thought it would be the perfect time to bring it out. The result? Hours of farm time fun!

Oh and here's what happens when daddy gets his hands on it:

I wonder who enjoyed it more?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

An Easter Treat

Since Easter is upon us, I wanted to make some easy Easter treats together with little miss. Chocolate covered cornflakes is a popular treat here in the UK so I decided to make some Easter egg nests using chocolate covered cornflakes and Cadbury mini eggs.

First, I melted 2 bars of chocolate (I used a dark/milk combo) in the microwave, poured in some cornflakes and let the little one mix until coated. I used a muffin tin and muffin cases to make it a little easier for little miss to spoon in the mixture. Finally, I added the mini eggs, waited for the chocolate to set and then Yummo!

Here's the little one in action:
Thanks Mom! Those mini eggs were yummy :)

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Amsterdam...Here We Come!

My mother and sister are both coming from the US next month for a visit here to London (Hooray!) and we've all decided to take a girl's weekend trip to Amsterdam (Hooray! Hooray!). I've planned many trips on my own, but this will be my first with a toddler and without the help of DH so I've been planning like crazy.

I've already checked off a few major things on my to-do list:
1. Book all flights (including sister's flight to London and roundtrip ticket's from LHR to AMS).
2. Find self-serve apartment to rent in Amsterdam close to large park, tram stops and tourist area.
3. Locate places to buy nappies in Amsterdam.
4. Download Play!Amsterdam App (guide to all playgrounds in Amseterdam)

Things I'm working on:
1. Packing list (i.e decide which pram to bring).
2. Create a Google Map with all the places I want to visit.
3. Look up child friendly restaurants, parks, attractions and cool shops.

I've also been checking out other blogs for tips on traveling to Amsterdam with kids: Babychino Kids, Travels with Clara, babygadget, Tot 'n Tow and of course, Design Mom.

* (I highly recommend Everyman Mapguides if you're in the market for a travel guide. Their best feature is the small fold out map included for each major area of your city. The map is comprehensive yet small enough so that you're not labelled a tourist!)

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Sass & Belle

I visited the sass & belle store (not to be confused with sass & bade) during a recent trip to Covent Garden and was completely delighted with all their wonderful crafty gifts and decorations. They have a wonderful collection of cushions, bunting, children's decorations and vintage inspired gifts.  It's a great stop for some affordable souvenirs if you are ever in London. I came away with some really cute owl ribbon and will definitely return!

sass & belle: 21-20 New Row, Covent Garden, London WC2N 4LE